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Banished brothers trying to get family back homeSubmitted: 08/23/2013
LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Punishment for a crime comes in different forms.

Guilty people usually go to jail.

But things can be different on reservations.

The Lac du Flambeau Tribe banished 55 people last week. Now, two brothers are trying to get their family back home.

Christine Turney and her sons Jared and Jalen were banished from Lac Du Flambeau last week.

They had 48 hours to leave. After that was up, Turney says the entire family, including their grandmother and little brothers, was given 5 minutes to leave. Then their home was boarded up.

The Tribe says banishment was related to crime,gangs and drugs. Jalen Lussier, the son of Turney, had ties to gangs.

Public records say he's also on two-years-probation after being found guilty of battery in December. He says he's out of gang life now, but understands the punishment.

"I understand why they are banning me off the res(ervation)," Lussier said. "Me and my brother are accepting it."

But they worry for his family because even those that weren't banished cannot return to the home.

"We would just like to ask the tribe to let my little brothers and grandmother and mother live in that house," Lussier said. "If they want me and my older brother to go, we are willing to go."

Public records show their mother Christine Turney was guilty of having drug paraphernalia in 2006. Since then her record's clean.

"I don't talk to my mom about what I have done," Lussier said. "She still doesn't know, you know what I mean, she's innocent."

The Lac du Flambeau Tribal Council released a statement Friday holding strong to their stance.

"We continue our aggressive position that drug abuse, gang activity and property destruction are not acceptable on our lands," the statement said. "Our community has lost 12 people in the last three years to these behaviors, and we are committed to protecting our People."

Turney continues to look for work and a place to live, but hopes to return.

"We just want to live peacefully there on the reservation,"Turney said.

That's impossible unless the banishment's change. Jalen and his brother Jared hope their family can return, but they know what they need to do.

"The best thing to do right now is a get a job and get out of here," Lussier said.

That's exactly what the Lac du Flambeau Tribe wants.


Story By: Adam Fox

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